Dignitaries, corporate leaders, and politicians hand out
backpacks to preschool students in need on first day of school
The Child & Family Network Centers (CFNC), an Alexandria-based network of free, high-quality bi-lingual preschools that provide low-income children with the tools they need to succeed in school and in life, will provide backpacks to underprivileged children on Tuesday, September 8, 2015. Alexandria City Mayor Bill Euille, Alexandria City Vice Mayor Allison Silberberg, Alexandria Undersheriff Tim Gleeson, Alexandria Fire Chief Robert C. Dubé and Alexandria City Chief of Police Earl Cook along with local business executives will hand out 150 backpacks filled with school supplies to preschool-aged children on the first day of school at CFNC’s headquarters located at 3700 Wheeler Avenue in Alexandria, VA from 9:15 AM to 9:30 AM.
CFNC ensures that children of the working poor have access to preschool so that they start elementary school on par with their classmates. “It costs CFNC $ 10,000 to provide a preschool education for one year for one at-risk child. We are extremely grateful for the $3,000 in funding we receive per child from the Virginia Preschool Initiative and can’t thank the individuals, foundations and corporations who help us fill that $7,000 gap in funding per child each year enough,” said Lissette Bishins, CEO of The Child & Family Network Centers. “We are also very grateful for the support of the City of Alexandria, the Alexandria City Public Schools, and the community in general who have come together to support early childhood education for low-income families in Alexandria.”
The Virginia Preschool Initiative (VPI) is the state preschool program for at-risk four year-olds who are not served by the federal Head Start preschool program. VPI has a proven track record of success. Students who participate in VPI are more likely to be prepared for kindergarten than their peers who did not attend preschool. Students who participate in VPI are the least likely to need additional literacy intervention when they enter school compared to students from other preschool programs or students who did not attend preschool.
Alexandria is one of seven Virginia localities where private providers partner with the school system and other local departments to offer VPI to at-risk students. State legislators are currently reviewing policy proposals to encourage the involvement of private providers throughout the state. Alexandria has a long history of partnering with the private sector to provide preschool experiences. Over half of the VPI students in Alexandria are enrolled in privately operated centers. The bulk of which attend CFNC.
CFNC wishes to thank our corporate sponsors for making this event possible. Columbia Capital, LCOR, Steptoe & Johnson LLP, Cotton & Company, American Advertising Distributors of Northern Virginia, Kaiser Permanente, Cypress International,Dominion Power, In-Kindness, and Regulatory Economics Group.